Marginalia is a critical proposal to reactivate the Pepe Espaliú Library. Made up of a heterogeneous group of books, magazines and other bibliographical collections belonging to the Cordoba-born artist Pepe Espaliú (1955 – 1993), the library was donated by the artist to Arteleku – Gipuzkoa Provincial Council shortly before his death. Taking 2013, the 20th anniversary of the death of the artist, as the time reference, although without being subject to this, the aim of the project is not to assert the patrimonial importance of the collection, in a commemorative sense, but to bring about its productive transformation.
The project takes the form of the creation of a research and action `laboratory´, understood as a collaborative `para-institution´ that will promote a number of initiatives of critical analysis and artistic production. This laboratory will operate throughout the year and embraces two levels of activity:
1) a continuous research process on the collection and other related documentary materials that will consider Espaliú a symptom and figure, in which a series of mutations of critical criteria are condensed
2) a set of subprojects of artistic production carried out by a number of guest artists and groups: Equipo re, Antonio Gagliano, Jeleton, and Pablo Marte and Susana Talayero (in collaboration). These productions will share an interest in exploring the limits of the archive, question the production and access mechanisms inherent to it, and make the most of the opportunities for agency and resistance it offers.
Instead of considering the library as an isolated fortress, what we propose here is to make it a node in a vast network of relationships, crossed by multiple forces: the institutional framework in which it is housed; the ideological space of the archive; Espaliú’s own practice; AIDS politics; or the paradigm of affection.
The notion of marginalia after which the project is entitled refers to the notes, marginal notes and comments made by a reader in the margins of a book. As a textual form, it represents a lower form of writing, but in terms of political presence, its functionality will be based on the recognition of all margins as a space of possibility. Based on this idea, the project approaches the Pepe Espaliú Library from its ontological margins, demanding its materiality has an emotional index of an entire series of contextualised experiences and promoting the updating of its oppressed potentialities.